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  1. #1
    hctrouble25
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Wink Women in the Firehouse

    I am the only female on a fire dept. (Engineer on the first out pumper as well) of about 40 active members. The guys treat me with respect, I do my job, and there are no problems. What experiences have you had with female fire fighters? Do you think your firehouse would accept a woman as an equal? Are women capable of doing the job? Please share your thoughts. Take care and please be safe out there.

  2. #2
    Ford45
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Hellz yeah! I've seen women fire fighters that do better than some of the male ff's around. i say, if they do what is expected without being concerened about breaking a nail (not saying all women are like that) than c'mon in. i went through firefighter I with six female ff's. five of them i'd have back me on the line before i let half the rest of the class come near me. Peace!

    ------------------
    Matt
    Newtown Fire Association
    Station 45

  3. #3
    NCRSQ751
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Check out the Women in Emergency Services Forum for more info...

    I belong to a fire department and a rescue squad.

    I'm the only female in my fire department, but I don't have a problem with the guys. Not all of them are thrilled about having a female around, but they are willing to give me a chance.

    At the rescue squad it's basically the same story. A lot of men grow up thinking women aren't equal or need to be taken care of and need to have it conditioned out of them. It takes time but it works eventually.

    The key to it all is doing the job. Not every woman can do every job, but niether can every man. As long as we show our worth and willingness to play on an even field we'll do fine. It's when women expect special favors or allowances that we run into trouble. Standards must be the same for any of us to have credibility.

    ------------------
    Susan Bednar
    Forsyth Rescue Squad (Chief)
    NCTF-1
    Griffith Volunteer FD

  4. #4
    hctrouble25
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    It is so great to hear from a guy that appreciates what women can offer to the fire service, and to hear from a woman who knows first hand the difficulties of being a fire fighter. I count myself blessed that my department is very modern in their thinking and that they allow me to do my job and that they support me 100%. Keep the posts coming! Take care. :-P

  5. #5
    Tanker06
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    There are a few females in our dept., most of whom are associate members (don't go out & throw water) with only one I can think of right off the top of my head who is an active member.
    I have no problem with having female FF's in the dept. Just like any guy, as long as you pull your own weight, welcome aboard! I've taught her a few things, and she had taught me a few as well, so it's been a mutually beneficial friendship. I know that some of the guys don't like her, for various reasons, but I don't let their feelings effect how I personally feel, or how I treat her.
    And like one of the other posters said earlier about his experience with the ladies, I'd sooner follow her through the door, than some of the guys. So....

    Just my thoughts! :-)
    Jerry

    ------------------
    HazMat
    ---
    We gotta be nuts...we're running in when the rats & roaches are running out!
    ---
    Disclaimer:
    These are my opinions, and only mine, and do not reflect the views of my department.
    ---
    Let No Victim's Ghost Say That We Didn't Try

  6. #6
    D Kelly
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I don't care who's behind the mask, as long as they pull their weight.

  7. #7
    Fire Line
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    We had a number of women in the dept over the years. We have 3 female FF in my dept. 2 active, 1 still a trainee. One says she gets more grief from the wives of the other FF. Respect is earned wether your male or female, and the 2 active female FF have the respect of the all other FF.

  8. #8
    Philip C
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I think in most places females are accepted as long as they are squared away. I have noticed that they will be talked about more negatively if they are viewed as being non-productive compared to a male whose performance is equally lackluster. Women still have a tougher time and are scrutinized more than men are in historically male professions. In this county, where aggressiveness is a trait a firefighter needs to have, there are some places that would be A LOT more reluctant to have a female among their ranks than others. Long held feelings are hard to let go of. Take care and be safe.

    ------------------
    Phil Clinard
    Laurel VFD
    Prince George's Co Sta 10
    Laurel, MD
    www.laurelvfd.org

  9. #9
    Althea Forhan
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Good for you! I'm the first female Firefighter-type employee on my department (I'm an Explorer) This department has a reputation for being somewhat anti-woman, but now that I've been on for a while I've found out who the trouble makers are and I just make sure they know I can kick their @$$#$, and that if I can't, my brothers (both FF's and siblings) will. My question- We only have one locker room and one of those municipal showers, and what with the teenage guys there too...well, I thought of using the police HQ across the street (with separate lockers)

    Althea

  10. #10
    ac52
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Never had a problem with anyone, women included, who pulled their weight and got the job done. More than once was on a crew that included a female and had no problem.

    To Ford 45: You don't have to look to far to see the best female F/F I've ever worked with.

  11. #11
    Tanker06
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Originally posted by Althea Forhan:
    My question- We only have one locker room and one of those municipal showers, and what with the teenage guys there too...
    Althea
    Althea, our dept had communal bunking until a few years back. The bathrooms were seperate, but all of the FFs bunked together and the EMS types (shared station) bunked together. Finally, (before I showed up) they split everything up into seperate rooms, male and female, FF & EMS. A lot cozier for each of the crews now (max of 8 in our room), but more privacy. (We still wear shorts to bed, in case I have to walk down the hall to the bathroom.)

  12. #12
    Bob Snyder
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    There have been female firefighters in our station since the late 1970s and female engineers since the mid-1980s. I've never understood what all the fuss is about.

  13. #13
    hctrouble25
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Talking

    WOW! It is great to see so many positive comments about female fire fighters! This is wonderful. I think women should be encouraged to join this predominantly male profession, and should also be encouraged to speak their minds and have a take charge attitude. I have seen some women forced out of departments for being so "aggressive". I think it is sad to see, because it is sending a very negative message to young women out there....if you are aggressive, and speak your mind then you are not wanted as a part of our organization. Several of the guys on my department are going to a career night at two local high schools with me to encourage new members (including girls) to join our department. I count myself lucky to know and work with these guys.

  14. #14
    51Truck_K
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    I know of a female from a Department close to mine, which is a real Old Men's Club, you know the ti!!y pictures on the walls, Playboys in the bathroom, Beer from the Soda Machine. Everything most of us are against. Well I had the opportunity to train with her at the Academy, so I figured I would let her take the lead and I would hump the hose for her.....Right! She drug my ***** around like a rag doll!MOre aggressive and smarter than most of the Guys I work with, (remember I'm a Truck Officer!)Anyway, this female firefighter makes the Rank of Fire Lieutenant in this Department, which is unheard of!The guys gave her a little grief, but she layed the smackdown, showed them what she's made of, and they shut their ugly , fat mouths. I was so impresssed by her that I married her. So no, I aint got no problems with a female firefighter.

    ------------------
    FTM - PTB

  15. #15
    Ford45
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Wink

    hey, ac52! i'll make sure i tell her that! peace.

    ------------------
    Matt
    Newtown Fire Association
    Station 45

  16. #16
    Althea Forhan
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Originally posted by Tanker06:
    Althea, our dept had communal bunking until a few years back. The bathrooms were seperate, but all of the FFs bunked together and the EMS types (shared station) bunked together. Finally, (before I showed up) they split everything up into seperate rooms, male and female, FF & EMS. A lot cozier for each of the crews now (max of 8 in our room), but more privacy. (We still wear shorts to bed, in case I have to walk down the hall to the bathroom.)
    Maybe I should clarify--while most of the guys on my post are perfect gentlemen, one of them is really difficult and somewhat afraid of us girls. We were doing secondary surveys at our last drill and we got paired. Well, he felt my had, my arms, and my lower legs. I pointed this out to my advisor and he was like "Uh, Zack, don't expect all your patients to be male". I was talking to one of my othe friends who had tried to go on a ridealong here and one of the captains wouldn't let her because there wasn't a seperate shower area.

    Althea


  17. #17
    alaskafireman
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I AM A CAPTAIN IN SEWARD, AK AND WE HAVE SEVERAL FEMALE FIREFIGHTERS, INCLUDING ONE THAT IS A ASST CHIEF. i FEEL THAT IF YOU CAN DO THE JOB, THERE IS NO PROBLEM. tHE GALS IN OUR DEPT ARE EXCELLENT AND I HAVE NO PROBLEM GOING IN WITH THEM.


  18. #18
    Sonny Sampson
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Yeah!...I've got no problem at all with women in the firehouse. I think they are great! Especially in the bunkroom...they are a real moral booster.

    However...women on the fireground I feel are unacceptable.....unless they are at the aide station or passin' out gatorade.

    Most..actually about 98% of the females that I know that are MEMBERS of a fire department got into it because their X-boyfriend was a fireman and they wanted to meet (among other things) more firemen.

    I'm glad to see that you all are happy as members, and that the guys treat you with respect for the most part....just remember, they are probably just trying to get into your pants.

  19. #19
    hctrouble25
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Unfortunately when you post on these type of boards you always encounter the uneducated and the uninformed - this Sonnya character is a perfect example. Luckily most of us seem to be more intelligent and able to post positive and fair posts. Thanks to everyone who took the time to post with intelligent comments.

    [This message has been edited by hctrouble25 (edited 06-13-2001).]

  20. #20
    Sonny Sampson
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    You know what....you are right, I appologize for upsetting any girls out there (male and female). I should have stayed out of your fairy tale forum.

    After some thought I realize women are fine on the fire ground beacause....MORE FIRE FOR ME!!!!! Just keep pullin' lines to the front door and leaving them for the firemen as usual. If the fire service was filled with all strong aggressive men 2nd due and up would be seeing nothing but steam.

    Thanks in advance for the fire

    Love Sonny


  21. #21
    nobull911
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    our department has one bunk room for all the FFs. I don't think it is a problem having males and females in the same room because at our department all FFs men and women are "buddies" so its no big deal. we have one bathroom but it only has one toilet so if anyone goes in you can just lock the door.

  22. #22
    hot DAMN
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    I feel that a majority of women in the fire department do not belong there. That being said, it has nothing to do with the fact that they are women, but more with their phyiscal condition. I also agree that many of the out of shape MEN dont belong in the fire department. However, I have personally seen many more females that do not have the upper body strength needed for this job than men.
    Also, you can say what you want, but having women in the firehouse changes the dynamics of the whole place. You have to watch everything you say to make sure that no-one takes offense to it and percives it as sexual harrasment. This has created an enviornment with alot more stress and less "playing". We dont DARE horse around no-a-days for fear that one of the females would take it the wrong way.

    BUT..................

    That also being stated, I think that if ANYONE can DO THE JOB (not a slanted scale for women or other minority groups) then they should be allowed in, be they male female, purple, green, brown, gay, straight, etc etc

    And the women that are in, just like the men, need to lighten up and learn when a joke is JUST A JOKE!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. #23
    nshake67
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    I HAVE HAD THE PRIVALIGE TO WORK WITH SOME GREAT FEMALE FIREFIGHTERS. BUT LIKE POOR EXCUSES FOR MEN, I HAVE WORKED WITH AND SEEN HORRRIBLE EXAMPLES OF FEMALE FIREFIGHTERS. I HAVE A SIMPLE RULE, IF EVERYONE DOES THIER JOB WITH MAXIMUM EFFORT AND WITH OUT WHINNING ABOUT IT EVERYTHING WILL BE GREAT. THE FOLLOWING IS A QUOTE I FIRST HEARD WHEN I JOINED THE FIRE SERVICE:


    "I HAVE NO GRIPES AGAINST ANYONE REGARDLESS OF SEX, RACE OR CREED, I DISLIKE EVERYONE EQUALLY"

    BE SAFE EVERYONE

    [This message has been edited by nshake67 (edited 06-13-2001).]

  24. #24
    Althea Forhan
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    ***I apologize in advance for the language used in this post***

    You know what Sonny? Just because I don't have a dick between my legs dosen't mean I can't drag you out of a building. It dosen't mean I have a lower mentality than you do (I don't think it's possible) It dosen't mean I have a lower pain threshold--talk when you've passed an eight pound kidneystone that's ten centimeters in diameter. Ask yourself a couple of questions: 1) If I were stuck inside a burning building in the middle of nowhere and the only person that happened along was a woman-would I yell for help? 2)If I lost my genitles to cancer, would I still fight fire? 3)Why did my daddy do that to me?

    Althea Forhan

  25. #25
    Sonny Sampson
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Ms. Forhan.....answer to your questions

    (1) I'd rather die than be pulled out by anyone...male or female

    (2) If I lost my genitals to cancer I'd make a necklace out of them

    (3) Is that the best shot you can make??

    I'm not on hear attacking anyone here personally...just giving you my feelings and perceptions based on my own experiences. Welcome to the fire service.

    Love Sonny

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